Mar. 1, 1999
BRAMPTON, ON - The inaugural TSN Challenge was held tonight, featuring a rematch of last year's Olympic final rivals, Canada and USA. This game serves as a warm-up for the 1999 World Championship, starting in 7 days in Espoo, Finland.
Tonight's game featured the squads who will face off in Finland, and was an important game for both teams. Canada was staked to an early lead on goals by Laura Schuler, a temporary injury replacement, and France St-Louis, the oldest member of the team. Schuler played in tonight's game after injuries to Vicky Sunohara and Lori Dupuis, although she is not scheduled to travel with the team to Finland.
The second period saw goals by Hayley Wickenheiser and Nancy Drolet. Drolet's came on Canada's only power play of the first two periods. Although being outshot 23-18, Canada dominated most of the first and second periods, with Sami Jo Small standing tall in the Canadian net.
The third period opened with Cammi Granato's strong rush and subsequent goal, but it was too little too late. Danielle Goyette added another, after fending off an Team USA defender and flicking the puck over the oustretched pad of Erin Whitten, who came in to replace Belliveau at the start of the third period.
Team Canada's next games will be on March 4 and 6, in Stockholm, Sweden, against the Swedish National Women's Team in two Pre-Competition games before the start of the World Championship.
CANADA CLOBBERS TOP-RANKED U.S. TEAM
by Neil Stevens
BRAMPTON, Ont. (CP) - The United States may be the top-seeded team for the women's world hockey championship starting next week, but Canada showed Monday night why it is confident of winning a fifth consecutive global title.
Nancy Drolet scored two goals and Laura Schuler, France St-Louis, Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette added one each in a 6-1 drubbing of the Olympic champions.
Cammi Granato was the only American to get a puck past Sami Jo Small.
The teams fly to Europe Tuesday night. The world tournament begins next Monday in Espoo, Finland, when the Americans play Russia and the second-seeded Canadians take on Switzerland. The Americans are ranked No. 1 on the strength of their win over Canada in the 1998 Olympic final.
Canada has won all four previous women's world tournaments, beating the United States in the final each
time. Coach Daniele Sauvageau's players want to atone for the Olympic loss by making it five in a row.
Canada was outshot 12-10 but took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Wickenheiser played despite bruising her back in a fall into the end boards during practice Sunday.
She made it 3-0 at 17:58 of the second period. Jayna Hefford flew down the right wing with the puck, was forced wide by the defence, and slid a drop pass out front as she passed the net. Wickenheiser cooly knocked the puck into the open side of the net.
Drolet scored her first of the night at 19:12 on a power play, beating Belliveau with a slider from a bad angle.
The Americans outshot Canada 11-8 but were down 4-0 at the second intermission. Erin Whitten started the third in Belliveau's place.
Goyette made it 5-0 at 10:00 of the third. Drolet fed a breakaway pass and Goyette knocked a dribbler past Whitten as she was being slashed by a defender.
Granato got one back at 10:26, stickhandling out of a corner before beating Small, and Drolet closed out the scoring with 4:03 left off a Wickhenheiser pass.
Final shots were 31-24 in favour of the U.S.
© The Canadian Press, 1999
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